KATHMANDU: The World Environment Day is being celebrated across the world today, with the theme ‘Air Pollution’.
According to a UN Special Rapporteur on environment and human rights, air pollution has claimed the premature deaths of seven million people each year, including 600,000 children. Of this, approximately four million deaths take place in the Asia Pacific region.
Similarly, air pollution is responsible for 133 out of every 1,00,000 deaths each year in Nepal.
Air pollution, both outside and inside homes, is a silent killer of a large number of people.
David Boyd, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said that over 6 billion people, one-third of them children, are regularly inhaling air so polluted that it puts their life, health and well-being at risk.
Air pollutants largely caused by burning of fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, and heating, as well as from industrial activities, poor waste management and agricultural practice.
Every hour, 800 people are dying, many after years of suffering from cancer, respiratory illnesses or heart disease directly caused by breathing bad air.
Women and children are affected by indoor air pollution caused by cooking, heating or lighting with solid fuels and kerosene.
Boyd identified seven key steps, which include monitoring air quality and impact on human health, assessing sources of air pollution; and making information publicly available, including public health advisories.